The Rapture of the Church

By Patrick Hawthorne


I’m stepping away from my normal writings to briefly delve into an interest of mine which is Bible prophecy.  I make no claims of being an expert on Bible prophecy and have no bones about telling you, the reader, that there are many mysteries that still remain hidden. However, at their appointed time, God will bring to light those hidden things.  It will be like Peter on the day of Pentecost.  “This is that which was spoken…”

One subject that has always fascinated me is the subject of the Rapture and the timing of the Rapture.  There are those who believe there will be a Pre-Tribulation rapture, some who believe in a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, and then those who believe in a Post-Tribulation Rapture.  The question is, “Who is correct?”

I must admit, when I began to seriously study Bible prophecy, this area really confused me.  Although I found amble reason to believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture, I also found compelling arguments for the mid and post tribulation raptures.  But…what if all three are correct?  Could there be three separate raptures?  I believe so.

As a side note, typically when a student of Bible prophecy begins their initial study, they tend to flock to the Book of Revelation.  To be honest, this is a very confusing book unless the student first learns some very important keys to unlock the mysteries.  A large majority of these keys can be found in the Book of Daniel.  Now, let’s look at the three raptures. If there is enough interest, I may go deeper into this subject.

Rapture #1 – Pre-Tribulation Rapture –

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.(1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:50-52)

The post-tribulation believers often confuse the “Trumpet of God,” with the last, or the seventh, trump written of in Revelation 11.  To this, you must take note.  The seventh trump in Revelation 11 is an angelic trump and was used to signify the wrath of God.

The Trump found in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 is the Trump of God.  In verse 18 of 1 Thessalonians 4, we are told to comfort one another with these words.  I don’t know about you but I’m not very comforted by the seventh trump in the line of wraths found in Revelation 11.

Rapture #2 – Mid Tribulation Rapture – The Great Multitude

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  (Revelation 7:13-14)

This group follows the teachings of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists of Revelation 7:1-8.  Arguments have been made that those raptured during mid-tribulation are Israelis and prodigal Christian’s who missed the first rapture.  This come from verse 14 which says “They washed their robes,” indicating they first had to receive a robe of righteousness in order to wash it.  I don’t quite know where I stand on this thought, but it is interesting.  However, it is easy to see, if you are following the path of multiple raptures, that some believers are caught up after the first 3 ½  years of the tribulation.

Rapture #3 – Post Tribulation Rapture – 144,000 Jewish evangelists are received into heaven. 

Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the LambAnd in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Revelation 14:1-5)

Notice that the 144,000 are with Jesus.  At one point they had to get to Jesus to be with Jesus.  Other than this, the idea of a post-tribulation of the Church does not make sense to me.

For the sake of keeping this post brief, I skimmed the topic of the Rapture.  My purpose was not to argue any one point, but to show that I believe all three thoughts appear to be correct and that the arguments over whose right is easily settled with, “You all are.”  As I wrote above, if there appears to be interest in going further into detail, I will pursue it.  Be blessed.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Christian, prophecy, teaching
23 comments on “The Rapture of the Church
  1. Brief, but to the point, Brother Patrick. Interestingly, this is a subject that I was leaning towards writing on myself later this year or early next. I, too, have facilitated between a pre- and mid-tribulation rapture. I’ll be excited to see how you expand on the END TIMES from here.


    • Thanks Don…It was one of your recent series that sparked my interest in revisiting Bible prophecy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, writing what Yeshua said to His talmidim encouraged me to dig a little deeper into the entire realm of END TIMES prophecy in the Tanakh and what He has revealed to Yochanon and Sha’ul in the Brit Hadashah. Too bad we can’t collaborate, but you are way ahead of me. It’s going to be several, several weeks before I put fingers to the keyboard on that series.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Studying the blood moons sparked an interest in the Jewish feasts. The problem with most prophecy teachers is they try to decipher prophecy without factoring in Jewish customs. The meaning of the trumpet blasts is one of those areas.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Shane says:

    Interesting first segment. I look forward to reading your thoughts in following articles.


  3. Wally Fry says:

    Good stuff Patrick. I appreciate you recapping the various views on this subject without getting dogmatic right out of the chute. I agree there are strong evidences for several views and that none can be proven outright. I personally tend to be a pre trib type, but even I have to admit some of that is based on what I would like LOL. I don’t see too many reasons to support post trib, though, as you said it sort of makes little sense. But, I can’t prove it by any means.

    Mostly thanks for presenting it without throwing anybody under the heretic bus.


    • We have too many being thrown under the heretic bus as it is when, as you wrote, there are too many uncertainties left for us to discover.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wally Fry says:

        I so agree with that my friend

        We have differences of course but that is why we fellowship with like minded believers and no harm there as how can two walk together unless they agree? But we can also walk together through our doctrinal differences. We just may not be in church on Sundays lol and that is ok

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jules says:

    I wrote this somewhere else – I think it might be Two Rivers… but anyway I hope for pre-trib but prepare for mid/post. I just long for that glorious day when we meet face-to-face and with crowds innumerable I can sing WORTHY!

    Interesting topic, if it draws you closer to Him it’s worth studying more and preparation is wise.


    • From the responses, I believe I will go a little deeper. One thing I’m positive about…We ain’t gonna be snuck out of here like some teach. God don’t sneak. When it is time for us to go, the world will probably be like the Egyptian’s saying, “Please, just go…”


  5. Israel Ashworth says:

    This is deep subject in my early walk I was curious about the rapture. The way you describe it is the way I understand it. If I’m here standing or dead I’m going when Jesus calls. So yea lets hear more about it, you have gotten me curious again. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    Good post. Like others commenting, a future posts sounds good to do! This is a weak area of theology for me. Never even thought about three raptures before. The two witnesses in Revelation 11 definitely was raptured at a different point than the traditional pre-trib also….so, yeah, got no bone in this fight, just curious and intrigued like yourself.


  7. Good nice angle. Your welcome to follow my site.


  8. ACountryBoy says:

    Patrick, I been thinking about what you wrote here and for the life of me cannot see 3 raptures. What evidence is there for 3 raptures? The Rapture is an event unique to the Church, the body of Christ. When it occurs, all members of the Church, whether dead or alive, participate (1 Thessalonians 4.13-18). If ALL members of the Church are raptured and the Rapture is only for the Church how can there be another rapture?


    • Thank you for writing. Apparently we agree on the rapture of the Church, so that is not an issue.

      Then, we have the great multitude who come out of the Great Tribulation (Rev 7). How do they come out of the Great Tribulation if not Raptured? There is no mention that they died.
      However, notice that John has to ask who they are. In other words, they are saints but were not part of the rapture of the Church. They were saved after the start of the Tribulation.

      Finally, we have the 144,000 Jews who ministered to the great multitude. Notice that the 144,000 are no longer on earth but are with Jesus. At one point they had to get to Jesus to be with Jesus.

      Understand that I am not dogmatic about anything concerning Bible Prophecy other than the fact that Jesus will come back. There are so many strong men of God who disagree on certain things. We will just have to wait and see on a lot of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ACountryBoy says:

        I believe the great multitude are martyred tribulation saints, so yes, they were killed and in heaven. They don’t have their resurrected bodies yet because the resurrection of Tribulation believers does not occur until after the Tribulation (Rev. 20:4)

        As for the 144,000, Rev 7 says they are still upon the earth in mortal bodies that need the protection of God. While the same chapter says the great multitude are in heaven before the throne of God. That’s my take on it. Not dogmatic either. It’s an interesting subject to study.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with it being an interesting subject. Just the other day, I was reading three books from three well known tribulation experts concerning Revelation 12. All three disagreed on the events. One said the battle was in the past when satan was kicked out of heaven. One said it is a new battle fought within the 2nd and 3rd heavens. The third said that it will be a future battle but will encompass all three heavens.

        This is why, when I teach on the subject, that I make perfectly clear that much of it is speculative and we will find out when we find out. It will be much like Peter on the day of Pentecost saying, “This is that which was spoken of by the Prophet Joel.” However, I find that the Preterist and the Historicist miss the mark by many miles.

        Thanks for commenting. I value your thoughts on the subject and by no means think I have a full grasp on all of it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 564 other followers

%d bloggers like this: